Reprinted with permission from A Year in My Kitchen by Skye Gyngell, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
- 8 ripe tomatoes
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 red bell peppers
- 12 basil leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- 6 good-quality canned anchovies in oil, drained and cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
- 2 balls of good-quality buffalo mozzarella or fiore di latte (an outstanding cow's milk mozzarella)
- about 12 little black olives (ideally, Niçoise or Ligurian)
- 4 ounces Roasted Red Onions
- 2 tbsp Basil Oil
First, you need to peel the tomatoes (tedious perhaps, but necessary here). So, place a large pan of salted water on to boil. Using a small paring knife, remove the core from each tomato, then turn it upside down and mark a small cross on the base. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water. Almost immediately (as long as the tomatoes are ripe) the skin will begin to peel back, like the petals of a flower. Remove at once with a slotted spoon and let cool slightly.
Photo by Jason Lowe © 2011
Preheat the oven to 375°F (convection oven to 350°F). Halve the bell peppers lengthwise and remove the core, seeds, and white pith. Lay the pepper halves, skin side down, in a shallow baking dish that will hold them comfortably.
When the tomatoes are cool enough, peel, halve, and remove the seeds using a teaspoon, then very roughly chop the flesh. Tear the basil leaves into pieces.
Fill the pepper halves with the pieces of tomato, garlic, basil, and anchovies. Drizzle with the olive oil and season well with pepper (not salt at this point, as the anchovies may well provide all that is needed). Bake in the oven until the peppers are soft and slightly blackened around the edges, but still holding their shape, 25 to 35 minutes.
Check the seasoning and let the roasted peppers cool-room temperature is the ideal warmth to really appreciate the summery flavors of this dish.
Arrange the peppers on a big oval plate so everybody can help themselves, or on individual plates if you prefer. Tear the mozzarella into pieces with your hands and scatter over the peppers, along with the olives and roasted red onions. Spoon over the basil oil to serve.